'Nature is all there is' by Sarah Burgess

Last week my morning walks were happening at dawn, this week, daylight doesn’t really make an appearance until I’m back home. It’s a particular disappointment when my favourite dog to spot in the park is black and therefore currently almost invisible. On the other hand I’ve become reaquainted with the bats. My usual bat spotting time is on warm summer evenings when dusk is late, so it was exciting to see them still really active in the colder darker mornings. Bats before breakfast is a good thing.

The daylight situation also hasn’t been improved by the weather this week, and my favourite glowing tree had lost almost all its leaves by Monday morning. My mother in law must have know that I was craving some colourful tree action when I received this picture on my phone yesterday.

Of course next week this will all change and for another few weeks I’ll be able to see Dougal the dog again. Usually at this time of year I’d take some time to moan about how I’ll be leaving for work in the dark and coming home again in the dark, but this year I won’t be leaving for anywhere in the forseeable future. I’m going to make the most of this by fitting a park walk in at lunchtime, so I’ll still get to see the trees in the little daylight we have. Is there a way that you can fix your schedule to make sure you’re getting your dose of nature?

Here at the Lanarkshire Green Health Partnership we’re really aware that this winter is going to be unusually tough, and we want to encourage you and the people you work with to continue to connect with nature throughout the darker months of the year. We’re currently pulling together some prompts and some resources to help you get outdoors. Watch this space for more information and the opportunity to sign up. In the meantime, get your wellies and your waterproofs ready for action.

However, sometimes all any of us want to do is just stay inside – and don’t worry, I’ve got that covered from a nature perspective too. Check out this amazing video from Publishing Scotland. Even if you’re not into books, I think you’ll like it, with amazing footage from pigeons in the park to soaring transcendent landscapes, plus a wide variety of authors talking about what nature means to them. It is also a reminder that nature and the modern world aren’t two separate entities, they are one and the same. This is the only planet we have and as we lurch towards climate crisis, nature writing is a mouthpiece for nature’s needs and reminds us to think beyond ourselves. Nature is all there is. Let’s look after it as well as ourselves this winter.

Get in touch: sarah.burgess@vaslan.org.uk